Ewan Donnachie is the 2009 Nomad Shark Island Challenge Champion

posted on 2nd August 2009

Ewan Donnachie from Sydney's Northern Beaches has won The 2009 Nomad Shark Island Challenge in clean 1 - 1.5m conditions to claim first prize of $10,000 over an accumulated two round points system.

Since the completion of Round 1 back on the 12th of July, riders and officials have been on stand-by waiting in anticipation for the second round to commence. The weeks that followed saw small to flat condition as Sydney basked in a stable weather pattern. Towards the end of the 21 day waiting period riders voted unanimously to extend the period to accommodate a strong fetch of ground swell that was predicted to reel up the N.S.W coastal - and it's paid off.

Riders were greeted to a freshly groomed Southerly ground swell, a direct result of a powerful lower pressure system situated in the Tasman Sea. As dawn broke, long clean lines peeled around the infamous reef giving everyone an early viewing on what laid ahead.

Due to the southerly direction Contest Director Mark Fordham wasted no time on calling the event 'ON', taking full advantage of the perfect low to mid tide conditions.

The heats were reversed (4, 3, 2, and 1) to ensure that all riders had their fair share of tidal conditions. Riders had 45 minutes to top up their round 1 scores.

Overall each heat had their fair share of waves. Competitors basically lined up to enjoy the fun barrelling conditions. Standouts from Round 2 were Alex Leon, Ben Sawyer, Dave Ballard, Chris James, Nick Omerod, Ewan Donnachie, Christian Riguccini and Shaun Peterson.

Upon the completion all headed down to Bar 2230 for the presentation. The "Best Off" awards were presented and then the top eight place getters where called up for the final countdown. Riguccini and Donnachie were the last two standing. Both had shown great tube riding skills and wave knowledge through out the event. In the end, Riguccini, the 1999 SIC Champion was pipped by a mere 5.3 point leaving Donnachie to take to SIC 2009 title..


First Prize - Ewan Donnachie $10,000 winner takes all
Best Barrel - Dave Ballard 2 weeks stay at The Secret Sumatra - Surf Camp
Best Move - Shaun Peterson 2 week boat trip courtesy of The Surf Travel Company
Best Wipe Out - Glen Thurston $500 - courtesy of Bar 2230, Cronulla
Longest tube time - Dave Ballard Buzzing over Sydney in the world renowned Red Bull Stunt Plane

"In the end it came down to the most consistent rider and that rider was Ewan", explained Contest Director Mark Fordham. "Even though he didn't win a Round he managed to secure two solid scoring waves from both days. For example, Dougy Showell was leading after the Round 1 and couldn't find his rhythm in Round 2. Dave Ballard only scored 1 solid wave in Round 1, but managed to find his rhythm, especially in the barrel and took out Round 2 - it was a tight event - the luck could have swung in anyone's favour, that's competition...

I guess Round 2 was a savour for many. The waves were great for all heats so I guess everyone is happy. It would have been great if it was a little bigger though as the old saying goes 'you take what you've been given' . After analysing the swell yesterday I thought that it was going to pump as the tide got higher, instead it just hovered at the 3-4ft range. Regardless, everyone on board is stoked, there was plenty of tubes and plenty of ramps to hit so all in all everyone had an equal chance to improve on their first round scores."

After the winner's speech, Donnachie was quick to comment on the importance of the event, "Overall it's been a 'Challenge' for everyone, physically and mentally, unlike any event in the world... I am stoked that everyone saw the bigger picture and decided to extend the waiting period. Having that flexibility is essential - that's the beauty of the SIC- it gives us the chance to express our sport in the best possible way..."

Rider Round 1Round 2TotalPlacing
Ewan Donnachie33.842.175.91st
Christian Riguccini 24.546.170.62nd
Alex Bunting34.335.469.73rd
Jose Marquina23.842.165.94th
Doug Showell37.324.461.75th
Josh Pollard27.734.061.75th
Brendan Ryan27.333.961.27th
Shaun Peterson17.343.861.18th
Dave Ballard13.747.461.18th
Nick Omerod20.637.858.410th
Adam Luehman25.332.157.411th
Glen Thurston27.528.255.712th
Ben Sawyer17.038.455.413th
Alex Leon18.834.753.514th
Glen Sullivan25.526.852.315th
Jason Finlay15.030.345.316th
Jared Houston11.832.043.817th
Chris James042.042.018th
Kira Llewellyn13.59.523.019th
Mike Murphy10.0010.020th

On a final note I would like to thank all the Sponsors of this year's event for their continuous support especially in this economic climate, the riders for the total commitment and positive frame of mind and attitude during the entire competition period and, of coarse the officials and crew for their upmost professionalism. See you in 2010...

Regards Mark Fordham (Contest Organiser / Director)


1. Nomad Bodyboards
2. Emerald Surf City
3. Riptide Bodyboard Magazine
4. Secret Sumatra
5. Surf Travel
6. Human
7. Limited Edition Fins
8. Red Bull Australia
9. Dunes Wetsuits
10. Bar 2230 - Cronulla

Event info please email - sharkislandchallenge@iinet.net.au

Media Updates @ www.riptidemag.com.au
Photos are available via
Darryl Menzies > darrylmenzies@hotmail.com (Land vision / Presentation night)
Steve Jones > steven.jones@webfirm.com (Water vision)

The 2009 NOMAD Shark Island Challenge 2009
"The Beast Has Been Unleashed" - Congratulation Ewan Donnachie - The 2009 Nomad Shark Island Challenge Champion



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